Hong Kong

Libraries, what are they for?

 Ever since I was a child I have used libraries for pleasure and information. Most people of my age that I know do the same. But how many other people actually know what they are for, and use them for this? Even students seem to struggle at times.

  • Libraries are depositories of information which is organised and arranged to make retrieval as easy and quick as possible.
  • Their contents are listed in a catalogue which can be searched to indicate whether and where information is stored.
  • Librarians are professional people trained in organising such information, helping users find what they want and establishing the location of such material in their own library – or elsewhere.

This is put beautifully in this excerpt from Libraries are Essential:

 There is much more to doing real research than typing a few words into a search engine such as Google. Librarians are trained to do high-level research, which supports scientists, doctors, lawyers, professors, writers, government officials, and other important professionals every single day. Without the aide of librarians, all of these people would be making decisions without having all of the relevant knowledge they need on their topics.


Conductive Education libraries

 Libraries and librarians may seem an easy target when financial cuts are to be made, which means that valuable resources are not being exploited to the full. Conductive Education publications are limited in number and new, accurate material can be hard to find. Five years ago the Foundation for Conductive Education decided that it could no longer prioritise the expertise of a professional librarian for its library and recently the Pető Institute lost its librarian (I do not know whether a replacement has yet been appointed. Would not this be public information deserving of prioritisation?). Who is maintaining and developing these libraries now?

 I do not know.

SAHK in Hong Kong has a library but I do not think it is open access as the others are. A few years ago a ‘mobile’ library was established to be used by all the conductors and centres in New Zealand. Again I do not know if that is still a going concern.

As far as I know there are no other collections of any size other than personal ones.

The Virtual Library of Conductive Education

 In 2009 I started collecting information on items on the Internet and catalogued the details in the Virtual Library catalogue. This now  has a new format and an updated help page.Yesterday I spent time entering further details of material available on line into this catalogue.


I will post occasional lists of yet more items added here on this blog.

Other sources of information

Information about Conductive Education is now accessible via e-conduction’s website which acts as a knowledge portal leading people to blogs, books, unpublished material, and conductors’ workplaces:


Previous postings on libraries and information:








New book On Conductive Education just published

 Last Year in Hong Kong; four presentations made to the 7th World Congress for Conductive Education, Hong,Kong, December 2010. 

Andrew Sutton
Conductive Education Press, December 2011
ISBN: 978-0-9569948-3-7

A brief introduction on the back cover reads:

In December 2010 the Seventh World Conductive Education Congress was organised by SAHK in Hong Kong. The theme of the Congress was ‘ East meets West: adaptation and development’.
Starting in Hong Kong but now across mainland China, ‘Oriental Conductive Education’ is making enormous, vigorous strides, not simply in terms of the numbers of children (and adults) and their families served, but also in research studies undertaken and apparent official and professional approval. Most significantly, this appears to be developing along a separate line from that of ‘Western Conductive Education’.
This progress may have important lessons and implications not just for the future development of Conductive Education in the West but also for its further adaptation to the needs of the South
Andrew Sutton made four contributions to this conference, gathered together here in this single publication. In the Foreword, Ivan Su Yuen-Wang, Corporate Programme Coordinator, SAHK writes
‘This Congress might have provoked controversy if those disposed to believe that there exists a new face of Conductive Education might have taken issue with others who think otherwise. We have to remember that change is not always easy. Time must elapse, to soften the animosities and deaden inertia. I recognise Andrew’s creative intention to give balance to his views on Conductive Education in the 21st century by including the ‘China perspective’. Throughout, he has discussed what has been accomplished in the West, what has been done in the East, and what in his opinion should be done in the future. I cannot overemphasise the great importance of the forward-looking pragmatic aspect of his views, with its gems for bringing prosperity to the world of Conductive Education.’

This new book is now available  for £8.00 plus postage and packing from  Blurb at   http://www.blurb.com/books/2806207

Thank you Claire…and congratulations

Over the years I have got know the names of those who have become involved in Conductive Education in a variety of ways. For example, some are conductors, some parents,  some professionals, and some who now ‘use the principles’ of Conductive Education.
In Hong Kong I met a lady whose name I had known for many years. I knew that she had gone to Budapest with her child and then become actively involved in trying to bring CE to Australia – Claire Cotter, parent, occupational therapist and Honorary Conductor.
Claire gave me two videos of  historical interest, videos of the 1991 Australian conference containing presentations by Maria Hari, amongst others. These are now part of my growing library and very important additions.
Thank you very much, Claire, these will be preserved and made available to others in the future.
Whilst preparing this blog I came across a news item about her reporting an award she had received from the  Victorian State Government in Australia  for her work helping “those with disabilities participate in their communities”.
Claire is the first recipient of the Victorian Disability Sector’s leadership award for all her hard work.
She founded the Cerebral Palsy Education Center, which is staffed by physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and receives input from a conductor.


Hearty congratulations, Claire, and thanks again for the videos.
It was lovely to meet you!

Honorary Conductor Award

I have never been to a conference before so this was a very interesting experience for me. Initially I thought I would dip in and out but got hooked and attended as many sessions as possible.

It was two days filled with parallel presentations which meant I was unable to go to all those I wanted to hear. People from all over the world presented and I learned about what was going on in Israel, UK, Hong Kong, mainland China, Australia, Mexico and Germany. Over the two days I met people who had only been names to me before and was able to learn more about them.

Of course, the main reason I went was to receive my Honorary Conductor Award.
There were seven awards this time to the following :
 Chris K. H. Kan, Hong Kong
 Gillian Maguire, United Kingdom
 Anete Mozes, Israel
 Katalin Racz, Hungary
Bettina Tauscher Fak, Austria
 Karin Weber, Germany
 Edith Y. S. Yeung, Hong Kong
I am pleased to say that Edith Yeung is also a librarian working for SAHK. I had hoped to visit her library but the busy schedule of the congress and the study tours afterwards made it impossible. An excuse to go back some day perhaps!
The presentations were made at a banquet on the Sunday evening after everyone had watched a Lion Dance and listened to the SAHK children’s  Brass Band. All great fun.
My award was presented to me by Franz Schaffhauser, Director of the Peto Institute and I now have a beautiful red leather folder embossed with the Peto Institute’s name containing a certificate detailing the award.  I was very relieved to get up on to, and off the platform without any mishap due to nerves.
After this I was lucky enough to sit with a group of people who were excellent company and we all enjoyed a traditional Chinese dinner of soup, fish, meat, noodles, rice, more soup, more fish and little cakes in copious amounts.
I would like to thank all those who made this possible very much indeed for an evening I shall always remember with pride and happiness.

Around the world in ten days – almost!

I arrived home in Birmingham yesterday lunchtime after what seemed to be a never-ending journey. It was 24 hours since I had left the hotel in Hong Kong and I was very tired indeed. How people can do this all the time amazes me.
On the way out to Hong Kong I stayed over in Dubai for a day with my nephew, a journalist, who lives there. All was on a very large scale – everywhere were tall buildings, construction projects and a very efficient road system. He took me up the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa and round the largest shopping mall in the world on the way to seeing a Fountain display, the water ‘moving’ to music. In the evening we took a short boat ride across the creek to the souks where spices and medicines are sold before having a very tasty Arabic dinner. Fabulous.
I was up early next morning and back to the huge airport for the next stage of the journey to Hong Kong, arriving late at night to a kaleidascope of bright lights.
Hong Kong ws a wonderful place to visit and everyone I met was very helpful and extremely polite. Temperatures were in the early 20s so it was even more wonderful to be there  after the freezing cold in the UK.
The city was very clean, well organised and easy to get around enabling me to visit most of the places on my list in the time allowed. I saw the Big Buddha, had lunch in the buddhist monastery, visited Taoist temples,  went to several street markets, had a trip round the harbour at night, crossed over to Kowloon on the Star Ferry and had coffee in the former headquarters of the Hong Kong Police Force – now converted into a shopping mall with restuarants and coffee bars. On my last day I went up to the Peak by cable car for the fantastic view. Here as everywhere there were more shops and restuarants!  It was windy and cold and a little misty (unless that was pollution, hard for me to tell) but well worth the effort. I was lucky to do all these things in the company of some wonderful friends – so thank you to all who came with me and made it so enjoyable.
This was all fitted in after, and round the conference, which I will talk about later.
Now it is time to unpack, do the washing and start thinking about Christmas.
 Back to earth with a bump!

Congress time

Well its nearly Congress time and I start my journey to Hong Kong later today – weather permitting. It is still snowing here and I am watching the news for updates on the situation at the airport.
The above photo is of my brother, mother and I enjoying refreshment at the Peak in Hong Kong quite a long time ago. I hope to go up there again, enjoy the view and have another ice-cream next week!
I am looking forward to meeting all the people I have ‘spoken’ to via email, whose papers I have read and who contributed to the National Library of Conductive Education whilst I was Librarian.  Its my first visit to such an event and it should be an interesting time.

Conductive Education books at the World Congress

Several people have asked me if it will be possible to buy books published by Conductive Education Press at the Congress.
We have made Conductive Education Press publications easily accessible from anywhere in the world and deliverable to your door at the click of a mouse. http://www.blurb.com/user/cepress

CEP is a publisher and not a bookseller with premises and a physical stall.

Single copies of the titles will be available to look at during the Congress and a leaflet to take away containing information about all titles. I believe there may be information about a book from the Peto Institute available in the same way, Susie Mallett is working on a pamphlet, and there may be others too.

Usually at conferences books are available to order, rather than purchase there and then. A catalogue or titles may be available to look at and a form provided to complete to obtain copies. Sometimes there are copies available to buy, but not often; for instance, if the congress is being held in the home country of the  publisher it would be possible to take multiple copies to sell – perhaps SAHK will do this with their publications.  No airline luggage restrictions for them!

By the way, feedback from all of you who obtain and read copies would be very welcome.
It looks as though 2010 will see the publication of at least four titles on Conductive Education, quite an achievement!

World congress 2010

It was great to find out via Andrew’s blog that the VII World Congress in 2010 is now in the serious planning stage with its website under construction. Two years seems a long way away but it will soon be here. No doubt a call for papers will follow in the New Year.The first six congresses have resulted in a mixed bag of materials including programmes, a magazine, books of abstracts and some of the presentations included in issues of Conductive Education Occasional Papers (these incidentally appear to have ceased publication), which are held by the library here. But no full proceedings. The last congress in 2007 did have a website but only produced a brief report and evaluation.

I hope that SAHK will put this on the list of things to do and produce proceedings as there are bound to be some people who don’t/can’t go to the congress but will still be interested in what the presenters have to say. This international congress offers an opportunity for disseminating what is going on in Conductive Education all over the world and reporting what conductors are actually doing. Publishing the proceedings would also add to the literature as I have mentioned before in a previous blog.

I don’t think I can over emphasise that there is a great need for people to write things down in detail for others to read, share and learn from as happens in other professions , so please forgive me if you think I am repeating myself.